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How To Fix “Unable to Locate Kernel Source” Error When Installing Nvidia CUDA on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12

In this article, we will delve into how to fix the “Unable to Locate Kernel Source” error that you may encounter when installing Nvidia CUDA on Ubuntu. This error typically arises when the CUDA driver installation cannot find the kernel source packages. To resolve this, we need to ensure these packages are correctly installed and set up.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Unable to Locate Kernel Source" error when installing Nvidia CUDA on Ubuntu, you need to install the necessary kernel source packages using the apt-get install command. Then, verify the installation using the apt-cache show command. During the CUDA installation, set the kernel source path using the --kernel-source-path flag. If these steps don’t work, you can try alternative solutions such as creating a symbolic link, setting the IGNORE_CC_MISMATCH environmental variable, or compiling CUDA with an older version of gcc.

Prerequisites

Before we start, make sure you have administrative access to your Ubuntu system and are familiar with running commands in the terminal.

Step 1: Install the Kernel Source Packages

The first step is to install the necessary kernel source packages. This can be done using the apt-get install command, which is a package handling utility in Ubuntu that handles packages based on the commands it receives.

Use the following commands to install the kernel source packages:

sudo apt-get install linux-source
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

The $(uname -r) part of the second command is a command substitution that returns the kernel release number, ensuring that you install the correct version of the linux-headers package.

Step 2: Verify the Installation of Kernel Source Packages

After installing the packages, it’s good practice to verify that they have been installed correctly. You can do this using the apt-cache show command, which provides information about the specified package.

Run the following command to verify the installation:

apt-cache show linux-source-3.13.0

If the output shows the description of the Linux kernel source for version 3.13.0 with Ubuntu patches, then the package is installed correctly.

Step 3: Set the Kernel Source Path During CUDA Installation

Now, you can proceed with the CUDA installation. During this process, you’ll need to set the kernel source path. This can be done using the --kernel-source-path flag followed by the path to the kernel source.

Here’s how you can do this:

./cuda_6.5.14_linux.run --kernel-source-path=/usr/src/linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Replace cuda_6.5.14_linux.run with the actual name of your CUDA installer file.

Alternative Solutions

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, you can try the following alternative solutions:

Solution 1: Check the Symbolic Link

Check if the symbolic link /usr/src/linux exists and points to the correct kernel source directory. If it doesn’t, you can create the symbolic link manually using the ln -s command, which creates symbolic links between files.

Here’s the command to create the symbolic link:

sudo ln -s /usr/src/linux-headers-$(uname -r) /usr/src/linux

Solution 2: Set the IGNORE_CC_MISMATCH Environmental Variable

Try setting the IGNORE_CC_MISMATCH environmental variable to 1 before running the CUDA installer. This can be done using the export command, which sets the value of an environmental variable.

Here’s how you can do this:

export IGNORE_CC_MISMATCH=1
./cuda_6.5.14_linux.run

Solution 3: Compile CUDA with an Older Version of gcc

If you have a newer version of gcc installed, you may need to compile CUDA with the older version of gcc. Use the --override flag to specify the older version of gcc during the CUDA installation:

./cuda_6.5.14_linux.run --override

Note: Compiling CUDA with a different version of gcc may introduce calculation errors, so it is recommended to test the CUDA installation for any issues after using this solution.

Remember to replace cuda_6.5.14_linux.run with the actual name of the CUDA installer file in all the above commands.

Conclusion

If none of the above solutions work, you may need to provide more information about your system configuration and the specific error message to get further assistance. However, in most cases, following these steps should help you resolve the “Unable to Locate Kernel Source” error when installing Nvidia CUDA on Ubuntu.

What is Nvidia CUDA?

Nvidia CUDA is a parallel computing platform and application programming interface (API) model created by Nvidia. It allows developers to use Nvidia GPUs for general-purpose processing, enabling faster computation and acceleration of various tasks.

Why am I getting the “Unable to Locate Kernel Source” error?

This error occurs when the Nvidia CUDA installer cannot find the kernel source packages on your Ubuntu system. The kernel source packages are necessary for the installation of the CUDA driver.

How do I install the necessary kernel source packages?

You can install the kernel source packages by running the following commands in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install linux-source
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
How can I verify the installation of the kernel source packages?

You can verify the installation of the kernel source packages by using the apt-cache show command. For example, to verify the installation of the Linux kernel source for version 3.13.0, you can run:

apt-cache show linux-source-3.13.0
How do I set the kernel source path during CUDA installation?

During CUDA installation, you need to set the kernel source path using the --kernel-source-path flag followed by the path to the kernel source. For example:

./cuda_6.5.14_linux.run --kernel-source-path=/usr/src/linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Replace cuda_6.5.14_linux.run with the actual name of your CUDA installer file.

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